Koscielny reflects on three years of improvement in north London.
As the centre-back turns 28-years-old, Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny believes that the defender has improved in all areas whilst at the Emirates Stadium but particularly in physical prowess.
The Frenchman joined the Gunners three years ago from Ligue 1 side Lorient for a £10m fee and has continued to grow in stature ever since – now the undisputed first choice in central defence alongside Per Mertesacker.
Koscielny is also now a regular feature for the France national team – with 12 caps to date – and puts this success down to the competitiveness of the Premier League.
“I feel I’m better, better in a lot of areas. I have more confidence in the challenge. Overall, I gained in physical presence,” the defender told L’Equipe.
“Why? The repetition of the big games in the Premier League.”
It was not a good start to the 2013/14 season for Koscielny however, with the centre-back marking a bad day all round for the club during a 1-3 loss to Aston Villa at home, by also being sent off.
Yet since then the Frenchman has guided the side to two clean-sheets, in both the league to fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur and in Champions League qualification against Fenerbahce.
Koscielny performed dutifully on the international stage as well by ensuring that France didn’t concede in their World Cup qualifier with Georgia on Friday – unfortunately the side didn’t score either and trail group leaders Spain by three points.
The team will have the chance to rectify that somewhat disappointing result when they travel to Belarus on Tuesday night.
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